Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse Discuss Life After ‘Lost’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:28 pm,

Almost a year ago fans began watching the final season of Lost.

As the story of Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Kate and the rest of the island’s infamous inhabitants came to an end, executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse not only had to come to grips with moving on from one of the most popular series in recent television history, but they also had to deal with the mixed response from fans to the Lost series finale.

For Lindelof, he is now focused on developing feature films – specifically Star Trek 2. But that doesn’t mean he’s finally come to terms with Lost being over and the numerous complaints from fans about how they ended the series.

“Even the people who absolutely hated how we ended it still have the need to tell me this in a variety of creative ways eight months after the fact. I used to lose sleep over this, but I’m actually starting to embrace the fact that while their assessment of my talent (or lack thereof) sometimes hurts, it’s nice to know that at least they cared enough about the show to reach out and tell me so. Repeatedly. OK, I’m still losing a little sleep over it.”

Fortunately, those sleepless nights have allowed Lindelof to catch up on the many television series that he’s missed while working on Lost – not to mention taking in a Harry Potter film and apologizing to Lost fans about the series finale. Here are Lindelof’s viewing suggestions:

“I’d advise starting with Battlestar Galactica, moving on to Breaking Bad and ending with The Wire. I’m convinced the best way to watch a series is to just binge.”

Considering Lost was known for its long, drawn out storylines and lengthy delays between seasons, it’s interesting that Lindelof suggests that “binging” is the best way to watch a television series. Perhaps all of this time has given the famed producer a new perspective on things.

lost cast1 Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse Discuss Life After Lost

As for Cuse, he recently published the experiences of his past year in The New York Times. While much of it revolves around Cuse trying to come to grips with Lost being over and trying to figure out what he’ll do next or if he’ll ever work in Hollywood again, he did provide an interesting anecdote about a fan interaction in Switzerland.

“Last summer I went hiking with my teenage daughter in the Swiss Alps… As I was drinking some water and taking in the awesome panorama, I noticed a hiker approaching… I thought he was going to warn us of some danger. Instead he walked up to me and in German-accented English asked, ‘Are you Carlton Cuse, from ‘Lost’?’ Startled, I answered, ‘Yes.’ Then he said, ‘Why did you not explain the polar bear?’ … Even here in this remote spot I could not escape the last six years of my life.”

We now know that Cuse has begun working on a Civil War project for ABC, Point of Honor. The genre transition was inspired by a visit Cuse paid to the Lincoln Memorial… plus the fact that there are no polar bears in the Civil War.

Even though Cuse’s introspective experiences rarely delve into any regrets he had with the series finale, it does provide a look into the mind of the man that captured our attention for six long years. Instead of focusing on the angry fans, he was more concerned with the prospect of going from an 80-hour work week on Lost to doing absolutely nothing.

Whether or not fans have finally come to terms with the finale that Lost presented to viewers around the world still remains to be seen. For Lindelof and Cuse, it appears that they’ve finally moved on – or are at least trying to do so.


Follow me on Twitter @anthonyocasio
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Source: TV Guide, The New York Times

TAGS: Lost
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  1. This is media skewing facts at its best… Cuse never apologized for the finale. He apologized for saying that fans upset with the finale were not real fans of the show. He need not apologize for anything anyways. And the Swede that asked him about the polar bears needs to pay more attention, because they were explained as were most other things watchers say weren’t. Long live Lost.

    • No, this is media using a hyperbolic statement.

  2. I know I’m in the minority here, but I enjoyed Lost’s finale. I know it left a lot undone and it was sort of a silly way out, but I enjoyed it.

    *ducks and runs for cover*

    • Lost = greatest show ever (my opinion obviously). Was and remains an excellent television viewing experience. I’m not running and ducking from anything. I’m currently in my 4th re-watch of the series and I’ve yet to find anything that’s not explainable using what was given to us.

      For example… to the Swede that wanted an answer to the polar bear…

      Semi-Short Version:
      We know Dharma used animals in their experiments to help them better understand the unique energies of the island. We know Dharma trained the polar bear to turn the wheel in the well that they were excavating. We know this because Charlotte found the remains of a polar bear with a Dharma labeled harness in the desert where it had been transported to after turning the wheel. It’s also frigid cold in the well containing the wheel. Hmmm… polar bear weather? Seems like all the pieces fit together if we all just do a little thinking. That’s what Lost expected from us… They gave its viewers food for thought instead of hand feeding us answers. That would have been boring and an insult to show and viewers.

      It’s call a tv “show” not a tv “tell”. Show don’t tell… and that’s what they did.

      Tom also references to Sawyer while he’s locked in the polar bear cage that the bears figured out the intricate process of getting food faster than Sawyer did. This hints the bears being trained and that they were smart enough to do certain tasks… it also helps to know that polar bears are very smart creatures in general. They’re naturally inquisitive like cats are curious. They’ll play with things and try to figure them out (and/or eat them).

      So Swede, your answer is simple. Dharma brought Polar Bears to the island to use them for experiments. They needed something that was big and strong, that liked the cold, and was disposable to turn the wheel. Wow… that was really hard to figure out. I really hope Cuse’s answer to your question was “did you even watch the show?”

      • @Travis

        1) Most of those who complain about unanswered questions like myself also agree that LOST was one of the best if not the best show ever.

        2) The Polar Bear comment (if Damn was being completely honest which i kinda doubt since the Polar bears was not one of the more commonly listed plot holes in LOST) is a very poor example of unanswered/unaddressed parts of LOST. If you really can;t think of one item that was unanswered then you’ve either filled in the holes yourself or your in denial.

        Even the writers admitted they did not answer everything.

        3) Just because someone didn’t get something you did in the story doesn’t mean you have to be an you know what about it. This swede may not understand English that well and therefore watched a translated version of the show and so who knows what may have been lost in the translation.

        • @BlueCollar

          I agree with you for the most part…

          It’s not that I can’t think of a unanswered question, I’m simply stating that LOST gave us enough to understand them when the questions arise. I’m saying I haven’t run into a question yet that I haven’t been able to find info from the show to make a logical answer for. And MOST of the fans questions have been answered… they just didn’t realize it. For others less obvious as the polar bear, could the answer be the incorrect answer, sure (anythings possible)… but in most cases it’s pretty straight forward after considering all the evidence that it’s the most likely answer and most importantly, IT’S WHAT THE WRITERS WANTED US TO TAKE AWAY FROM IT. They’re not going to come out and say it, they’re going to give a bread crumb and see if you can’t find your own way. I’ve taken on many questions from confused and angry viewers and listed out logical paths to the answer using facts from the show and/or extras that came along with DVD’s and such.

          Some may argue that it’s all perception and NOT an answer… but in many ways that’s what LOST was all about. Though, I’d argue that in MOST cases it’s not perception at all… the facts are right there on the screen. We only need to be aware they are there. It’s amazing all the things I missed the 1st time through that I picked up on the 2nd and 3rd time watching the series.

          I actually made a few friends over this very argument and we started a re-watching venture to ultimately try and prove each other wrong.

          With every question that has risen the writers left us pieces, clues, easter eggs, and hints to the answers. All we need to do is put those pieces together to see the final picture. As I did with the Polar Bear. Many of the questions are just missed answers. Lost raised the bar of television watching and demanded our attention.

          As the example of the Polar Bear may be a poor example it’s still an example of a viewer that’s not seeing the whole picture and not living up to the type of viewer that LOST was writing for. I’m glad they stayed true to the way they told the story and didn’t dumb things down to us. And it’s not just the Swede… many people are angry over the Polar Bear situation.

          I’ve said many times that Lost isn’t a show you can simply watch from week to week, with a summer or more in between before seeing the next season if you’re thinking of catching everything. Fortunately for me I re-watched seasons 1-5 before starting season 6 when it aired so it was all very fresh in my memory. It’s not surprising that little pieces of puzzles get lost over a 6 season span… what is surprising is that people are so upset over their own self induced confusion on questions like the Polar Bear one.

    • I agree. I loved the finale and have watched it 3 times. It becomes more profound every time. I wish the article didn’t give the impression that ALL THE FANS hated the finale. I personally don’t know anybody that hated the finale and I am part of a large LOST fan community in Charlotte. The problem is that the people that didn’t like the finale are the ones who are the loudest and usually most obnoxious about their opinion. Unfortunately that is all that most television writers want to focus on.

      But I know that I am not alone when I say that the finale of LOST was very gratifying even though not every single little mystery was revealed. The story was positively amazing!

  3. I for one think the Polar Bear Question from the Swede is at best misleading. I guess its possible that the Swede did ask about the bear but I find it more likely that he would have asked about something from LOST that was not addressed ever and Cuse simply used the Polar Bear item in his comment because it was an example of something that was addressed but not as obviously so and so it makes Cuse look like less of a … well you get the point.

    Then again maybe some swede did come up to him on the mountain and ask that question. Like may side stories and plot lines in LOST, we may never know.

  4. There were a lot of holes in Lost but that was the point I think. They told the important stuff and left the rest for you to fill in yourself. I always wanted to know why Shannon saw Walt, who was wet and talking backwards, in Season 1. I wanted to know more about the shack that kept moving and was eventually burned. The fact is we saw a portion of a story from certain points of view. The rest is left up to the viewers interpetaion. It truly was genious, the entire show.

  5. Wow, I loved it.

    I think those that complain about nothing being explained COMPLETELY missed the point of the show and the finale.

    It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. This has been the entire message from the get-go.
    The finale didn’t provide answers, it provided closure.

    And I say Bravo.

    (Besides I cried like a big man-baby!!)

  6. fan backlash is to be expected. when you have a show like this that is built upon the promise of great mystery – rarely are you going to come up with an explanation that is going to satisfy the masses.

    its the same trap that horror films fall into…. The Monster is always scarier in your mind then it is when seen on screen….just as Mysterys are only exciting until they are explained.

  7. so to the polar bear point. Yes it was sort of explained by the dharma initiative. But it was even more so explained by walts comic book. Walts step father said strange things happened around walt. He was obviously special. The show made it a point to say things that implied whatever they wanted to happen happened. Walt created the polar bear. It also is what gave his father a reason to be a hero. And amy point it semed like they all had an ability to create things with their mind Unknowingly, especially is directed by someone. The show has a million philosophies and meanings. You cant define it. And the ambiguous ending just means we need to accept the show will not tell us its meAning. Its for us to decide.